One of world's deadliest snakes found at Manchester brick firm

One of the world’s deadliest snakes is found in Manchester: Saw-scaled viper is rescued by RSPCA after forklift driver spotted it in shipment of bricks from Pakistan

  • Worker spotted saw-scaled viper was at Manchester Brick Specialists in Salford 
  • Staff researched what type of snake it could be but did not realise its danger
  • Viper is one of four species behind the highest number of human deaths in India 

One of the world’s deadliest snakes has been rescued by the RSPCA in Manchester after surviving a 4,000-mile trip from Pakistan.

A forklift driver at Manchester Brick Specialists in Salford spotted the saw-scaled viper in a shipment of bricks that had arrived from the south-east Asian country last month.

The tiny yet highly venomous creature was soon confined to a cardboard box by the manager, Michael Regan, 40, and reported to the RSPCA.

Staff at the brick firm researched the type of snake it could be but were unaware of how dangerous it was.

The viper is one of four species that together account for the highest number of human fatalities in India.

‘I knew to keep a safe distance but obviously had no idea how deadly this snake was – it was pretty shocking,’ Mr Regan said.

‘Looking back now, it really was a good job it was spotted and dealt with or who knows what could have happened… I am glad it is now safe in a new home.’ 

RSPCA Inspector Ryan King said he was initially sceptical about the call.

A forklift driver at Manchester Brick Specialists in Salford spotted the saw-scaled viper (pictured) in a shipment of bricks that had arrived from Pakistan last month

‘The report came to us that a saw-scaled viper had been spotted but I was a bit sceptical,’ he said. 

‘Sometimes we get to jobs like this and it turns out to be a harmless grass snake – we have even attended snake reports which turn out to be plastic toys.

‘However, I only had to take a quick look to realise we were dealing with a reptile which was more than capable of killing people with its highly toxic venom.’

Mr King, dressed in protective clothing, was able to safely place the creature in a snake bag before its transportation to a new home with a special licence to care for venomous reptiles.

‘It is amazing that he survived a 4,000-mile journey and managed to live for weeks – and in such a cold climate – when arriving in England,’ Mr King said.

‘It was quite an honour to deal with this snake and I am pleased he has a home where he will be looked after.’

The RSPCA would always recommend that anyone who sees a stray exotic snake to keep a safe distance, call their helpline on 0300 1234 999 and monitor the animal until they can get there. 

The tiny yet highly venomous creature was soon confined to a cardboard box (pictured) by the manager, Michael Regan, 40, and reported to the RSPCA

It comes after a woman in the West Midlands was left shocked in October this year after she went to use her toilet in the early hours of the morning only to find a snake in the bowl.

Laura Tranter, 34, was so stunned by the reptile she ran to tell a friend who was convinced she was drunk.

Laura says she called the RSPCA but got a message saying they didn’t open until 7am so she had to improvise – and contacted a mate who helped.

Terrified Laura, of Stourbridge, said she thought the snake was an escaped pet.

She said: ‘I woke up at half-past five in the morning to go to the toilet, and it was just there.

‘It scared the hell out of me, I nearly sat on the thing. Its head was just resting on the seat. 

Laura Tranter, 34, was left shocked after she went to use her toilet in the early hours of the morning only to find a 4ft python snake in the bowl (pictured) and resting its head on the seat


Pictured: Steve (right), a friend of a friend with an interest in Snakes and Spiders, eventually released the reptile after using washing up liquid to grease its body and pull it out of the pipe

‘I shut the toilet door and thought, have I really seen that, so I double-checked if it was real – but I really thought I was hallucinating.

‘I went around my mate Sarah’s house at half five in the morning in my dressing gown and trainers. She was so confused she asked if I’d been drinking.’

She added: ‘My mate’s brother, Dan, is really interested in spiders and snakes and stuff so I called him and he got his friend who lived twenty minutes away, Steve, to come and get it out.

‘It was actually stuck in my toilet, because it was so fat in the middle that it couldn’t get out and couldn’t get back.

‘We couldn’t actually get it out, so we had to put washing up liquid down the toilet and then flush it to help get it out.

‘Steve and Dan think that someone might have let it out after keeping it as a pet and deciding they didn’t want it, and it had got into the sewer somehow.

‘I still can’t get my head around it, I really can’t.’

The snake was handed to the RSPCA.

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